8 Little Ways You Can Make Your Tenants Happier

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Landlords and property managers are often fixated on the property itself, orchestrating renovations, making repairs, and generally improving the property to make it more livable and more attractive. This is totally justified, and arguably necessary if you want your property management strategy to be both profitable and successful in the long term.

But it’s also important to strategically optimize other variables associated with your property and rental income generation. Notably, you should strive to make your tenants happier – and there are several inexpensive, easily accessible ways you can do it.

Why Happy Tenants Are Valuable Tenants

At this point, you may be thinking to yourself, “it’s not my job to make my tenants happy.” And to some extent, this is true. There’s nothing in your lease agreement that literally says it’s your responsibility to ensure tenant happiness.

However, happy tenants are valuable tenants, and for several reasons:

  • Retention and reliability. If you keep your tenants happy, they’ll be much more reliable and much more likely to stick around. They’re going to pay rent more consistently on time and they’ll keep paying rent for far longer than their unhappy counterparts.
  • Communication. If you have a good rapport with your tenants and they’re generally happy with their living situation, your communication is going to be much smoother and more enjoyable. They may even be more likely to report problems at the property that need your attention.
  • Conflict resolution. Similarly, happy tenants make it easy to prevent and quickly resolve conflicts when they arise. Happy tenants will be much more likely to offer and accept compromises, and they’ll be less likely to take legal action.

Little Ways You Can Make Your Tenants Happier

So what steps can you take to make your tenants happier?

  1. Improve the air quality. Indoor air quality has a big impact on tenants, whether they realize it or not. Even a few changes to the property, such as installing a better air filter or making the windows easier to open, can make a big difference in the quality of the air they breathe. It may not give them an immediate hit of dopamine like some of the other items on this list, but it can increase their quality of life.
  2. Give a welcome package. When bringing on new tenants, consider giving them a welcome package. This can include small gifts, like a package of chocolates, as well as information, such as a list of the best restaurants in the area. Leave a short, handwritten note to make this gesture more personal and memorable.
  3. Respond quickly. One of the best things you can do to keep tenants happy is respond to them quickly. You should offer a nearly immediate response to all of their questions and inquiries, even if you can’t fully address their query right away. For example, if they report an issue, you can tell them you’re working on it and that you’ll have more information soon. This shows that you’re always available for communication and that you take the condition of the property and this tenant seriously.
  4. Respect privacy. Tenants have a right to privacy, and even if they didn’t, it would be wise to respect the privacy of your tenants for their own comfort and peace of mind. You need to follow the law precisely and not violate any law related to tenant privacy. You should also give the tenant plenty of time and forewarning if you do need to enter the property. Also, even if you’re legally allowed to enter, knock loudly and announce your presence before entering.
  5. Boost the curb appeal. Curb appeal is valuable for prospective tenants and existing tenants alike. Coming home to a property that looks beautiful and properly cared for can boost anyone’s mood. Some of the best options are replacing old siding, installing a new, freshly painted front door, and investing in more vibrant, welcoming landscaping.
  6. Raise rent strategically. In some areas, rent increase limits are dictated by the law. Whatever laws happen to apply to you, you should always raise rent strategically and conscientiously. Avoid raising rent too much, too fast and always provide an explanation for why you’re increasing the rent. Justifying a rent increase with new renovations, proof of property tax increases, or other reasons can demonstrate that you’re not just trying to squeeze every penny out of your tenants.
  7. Check in periodically. If you don’t hear from your tenants for a while, consider checking in with them. It only takes a few minutes, but it shows how invested you are in your tenants’ happiness. Your occupants are going to feel scene, validated, and valued – and they’ll have an opportunity to bring up anything that might be bothering them.
  8. Give small holiday gifts. Finally, consider dropping off small gifts for the holidays. Even a simple card or a plate of homemade cookies can make their day.

Tenant happiness doesn’t need to be your top priority, or even your second or third priority. But if you do make a concentrated effort to keep your tenants happy, you’re going to be rewarded.

Happier tenants are more reliable, more consistent, easier to communicate with, and more amenable – so it’s usually worth making a proactive investment to keep them in this state.

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